The definition of partnerships: we ask our finalists09 Apr 2014
Do you think the very definition of partnership, in a business sense, is evolving and if so how?
Media partner Outsource asked a selection of our esteemed finalists from across UK industry what their thoughts were on partnerships: are they changing and if so, how? Foster your own exciting partnerships at this year's awards night - find out more.
“Partnerships are an over-used word” states Graham Busby, Partner, Elix-IRR “Suppliers will often tell their clients that “we are working in a strategic partnership” together, but in reality it is normally a simple client/supplier relationship. In today’s rapidly evolving world, the definition of partnership now requires the linking of reciprocal commercial success.”
Piers Daniell, MD, Fluidata doesn’t think the definition of partnership has changed much “but the execution of what it means for two businesses has certainly evolved. Even in the most equal of partnerships there is always a power in balance, especially between suppliers and customers. It is this in balance that is evolving, especially as the economy continues to recover.”
“I hope so” Partner at GeoLytix, Sarah Hithcock continues “and I hope it is being driven by start-ups. Partnering is a key reason why we are being successful and it’s one of our key USPs vs the big guys. Our sales pitches involve technology and complex modelling, but first and foremost we’re selling ourselves.
“The output of partnership is still the same; however, the input of partnerships is radically changing, which is why there are discrepancies around definitions of what sponsorship or partnership is. Sponsorship makes marketing work harder and always has; however, who is involved in that partnership is different now through the advance of digital technology. This will inevitably change our industry” says Jackie Fast, Managing Director of Slingshot Sponsorship
“Since the economic downturn partnerships have been even more about sustainability and ensuring long-term competitive advantage which is especially prevalent in today’s economic market place” says the MD of NetPay Merchant Services: Carl Churchill. He explains: “Ultimately we are all working towards the same goal, happy customers and stakeholders and profitable businesses. NetPay is a business that is built around partnerships therefore if our partnerships fail we fail, when we get them to succeed all those involved enjoy opportunity and growth.
|Damon Crawford, Sales and Marketing Director for Outsourcery adds his thoughts “The definition of a partnership is changing because the very nature of those partnerships is becoming more and more integrated within the business community. In the IT industry for example, change is happening constantly with the market evolving at a very fast pace. One example is the sales process between end-users, resellers and vendors. They are working closer now than ever before to match needs with capabilities and innovation as the industry continues to evolve.”|
Martin Rantle Sales and Marketing Director at Palletine argues the drivers are changing: “For me, it isn’t the definition of partnership that’s evolving, but the need for it. Collaboration is not only one of the biggest economic drivers; it is a tool for better business relationships and innovation. Thankfully, this is being recognised by business as a way of powering the recovery.”
Rantle continues “Partnership is at the core of our business, but it doesn’t stop with member companies. We don’t want our clients to feel like clients – we want them to feel like business partners. To this end, the concept of a partnership is the end gain, and a key ingredient in the recipe for success.”
"Yes" says John Jeffcock, CEO of Winmark "and the reason is that clients want more from their suppliers in terms of insights, knowledge, innovation, resource, value etc. If you are good at what you do, this is great news, if not you will slowly be squeezed out by the preferred suppliers.
What are your thoughts on partnerships? How are they changing for you and your organisation to bring about better business? Use the comments button to add your thoughts below.
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